Tag Archives: publisher

When – Exactly – Does a Writer Become a ‘Published’ Writer?

Here’s an interesting question I’d love to hear some thoughts on:

When exactly does a writer become a published writer?

These days, in the world of traditional publishing, e-publishing, self-publishing, making money, paying money, losing money, blogging, copywriting, freelancing, and a hundred other factors I could probably list, at what point is a writer considered published?

It seems a given that, were I to ask a traditionally published author and their traditional publisher, that the answer would be, of course, the writer who has successfully passed through the extensive review and judgment process typically enforced by the traditional publishing world. And while I agree with including such authors, I would argue that there are many others who should be included within this elite group of people.

I commented on a blog today as to what I believe constitutes a ‘writer’ in the first place. Allow me to indulge:

When we’re talking about anything creative – writing, painting, music, design, etc. – the concept of ‘real’ does not apply. Anybody can (attempt to) do any of these things. I would think, then, that the more important clarification is, “Yeah, but are they any good at it?”

And because ‘quality’ of creation is purely subjective, the whole idea of qualifying one’s talent becomes moot. It is experience – and the knowledge and wisdom that come with it – above all that defines us.

I went to L’Universite du Quebec and learned to speak French. I was 18, away from home for the first time, in a province where I was suddenly legally able to drink. After all was said and done, it turned out that I didn’t need the actual ‘Certificat’ to prove I could speak French. (Thankfully!)

If I create and print a document that looks exactly like a law degree and hang it on my wall, I am no closer to being a lawyer than I was yesterday. There’s a process.

The greatest creation is that of life. Anyone can become a mother/father. But the true test of ability comes when mother/father become mom/dad. It’s the process that matters.

To my adopted children, I am legally mother. It is the process – the time, the effort, the pain, the passion – that makes me their mom.

Having written two novels – neither of which I ever intended to publish – I now call myself a writer. I lived those stories, created those characters, loved them, and missed them terribly in the end. I experienced the process that saw me sitting at my keyboard prepared to write my hero and heroine into their first kiss. I can’t explain my fascination as I watched them start to bicker, get angry at each other, and stomp off in different directions. I can’t explain how it felt to watch my words take on a life beyond my own imagination. But every writer out there knows exactly what I’m talking about.

It’s the process that makes one a writer – of any style, genre, and form. In whatever fashion one chooses to express him or herself through the written word, no matter how often, how much, how good, or how bad, one becomes a writer by writing.

Publishing, in any form, is irrelevant.

It’s just a convenient way for us to try to measure what kind of writer you are.

And so, with that said, how then do we measure the talent of a writer? What are the criteria? Does it matter any more?

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Filed under For Writers, Just a Thought

Welcome to our New Headquarters, Writers!

Welcome to the new headquarters for Romantic Shorts. It’s now time to separate the presentation from the preparation.

Everything that matters to our writers, all of our updates, announcements, and guidelines, are here at Romantic Shorts HQ. In the very near future, we hope to add a forum and discussion board for our staff and writers to connect and share. Right now, that’s (supposed to be) happening on our Facebook page. (I’m still trying to get into the habit of checking it regularly – that’s a new one for me and I’m still not comfortable finding my way around ‘the wall.’ Ah well, this is all about learning, after all…)

As for our ‘office decor’, after much indecision and a great deal of stress, our Headquarters Home Page is now sleek, clean, and easy to use.  (That blue background that a few of you had the misfortune to bump into was nasty.)

Two-thirds of the website are set for now.

This area for you, the writers, will grow as we grow and expand to meet our needs. If you have any suggestions of something to add, change, or just plain get rid of, feel free to say so. The whole HQ experience has to be easy and pleasant for the writers. Experience will tell us what that looks like. And if it’s anything like my living room, will be rearranged every six months or so…

Our presentation area is on hold waiting for our Grand Opening this summer. It will feature your stories, info, and – yes, probably some ads – for our readers. The details and final decisions on its appearance are still up in the air, though its purpose and function are now taking solid shape. Again, we’re open to ideas on that front. Feel free to drop us a line.

The nuts and bolts of the site are next. The business end of Romantic Shorts will include everything from info for advertisers to our privacy policy to our online store. Down the road, we will offer hardcopy, digital, and E- anthologies for sale, as well as other Romantic Shorts licensed items. That’s an exciting aspect of the venture that is proving to be a bit of a distraction – it’s incredibly fun to think about, and it’ll have to wait a little longer.

So, now, it’s so far so good. We’re still looking for more writers/stories. We may think about running another competition later in the year. And these days, every solved problem is producing two new challenges and three new ideas. Seems this has all taken on a life of its own… Can’t wait to see what’s next.

Now, back to work. Still have a third of a website to clean up, contracts to smooth out, manuscripts to read and judge, connections to make, and email to answer.

Honestly, I am loving this!


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Filed under For Writers, What's New @ R.S.

Great Advice for Every Writer on How to Get Published

The Adventurous Writer is a link I’ve included on the Romantic Shorts sites because Quips and Tips founder Laurie Pawlik-Kienlin, always has useful, straightforward information for her readers. Not all of her visitors are writers; Laurie posts Quips and Tips on a variety of subjects. Her site is worth a look.
Her post about why freelance writers can’t get much farther than a query to the editor applies to every writer out there – just substitute magazine for book, screenplay, newspaper, or whatever else you’re working on, and follow her tips. And while her explanations can be worth a chuckle or two, it’s a safe bet that behind the humour lies a frustrated editor who wonders why these mistakes are still being made.

Visit her site and check out this post.
It could be the most productive 5 minutes you spend today…


Filed under For Writers, Writing and Getting Published 101